The Cat Fights (#jammed daily devo, day 220)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 220: Don’t growl about it.

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all August 8your mind.’” Matthew 22:37 (NIV)

“STOP.”

My dog tried to act like she didn’t hear me.

“Cherry ….” I warned.

“Grrrrrrr……..”

“Quiet!” I yelled. “Get over here and lay down!”

She sauntered over and landed on my feet …with a sarcastic huff as she let out all of the breath she was saving to bark at the cat that torments her from across the street.

It’s all day long, until we move upstairs to go to sleep …where she growls at that cat from the change in scenery. Every once in a while she will jerk me out of a dead sleep to warn that cat not to cross the street. It’s rediculous. And on occasion, she sleeps on the other side of my shut door because of it.

Today’s verse talks about loving God with all that we know how to love Him with. It’s hard to focus Him 24/7. Like my dog is constantly distracted by that cat, we are thrown off by all kinds of calamity throughout our day. There never seems to be enough time. Life goes too fast, except when it’s easy for a minute.

When we are tempted to lose focus, we can simply look up and ask for help. He’s there, waiting to lend a hand in reminder of why we love Him so much. Attention spans are fickle, so we have to keep reeling them in over and over again …and giving them back to Him.

There are a lot of cats across the streets of our minds. Things that temp us to stew and people that we don’t feel like forgiving. There are situations out of our control and delays we don’t understand. Through it all, Christ’s hand reaches down to remind us that we are His.

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Father, Praise You for this day and this time to reflect on Your Word. Thank You for Jesus’ grip on our hands. Forgive us for wanting to growl and grimace at life, and help us to stay focused on You and follow Jesus …today, and always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Praying,

Megs

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The Note We all Play (#jammed daily devo, day 208)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 208: Play the common note.

“She named him Samuel,saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” 1 Samuel 1:20July 27

Regardless of the type of instrument a musician plays in an ensemble or orchestra, there is almost always a note in each song that everyone plays.

The woman speaking in today’s verse knew that note well. It was a note of prayer.

“I asked …”

No matter how different our prayers are, we are all asking God for something. Healing, guidance, help, blessing …but beyond the note we all play are the aches familiar to each soul.  “Praise You ….Thank You …Forgive me …Bless me …” the sentiments that fill in the ellipsis are different for us all.

For Hannah, prayer had very much become about bearing a child. Heaped on top of the burden of her own barrenness, the was made fun of by her husband’s other wife for her inability to bear children. Her prayers were desperate for the only One she knew could grant her peace to do just that. And as He promises to us all, He heard her. Hannah walked away from prayer in peace.

Today’s Scripture is the happy answer to Hannah’s prayer. A son, whom she named Samuel, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”

Christ laid down His life so that we could weave our hearts in and out of Scripture as we pray. We can come to the Father, through Him, no common notes required. Jesus not only gave us an example of what to say, but He showed us how to pray. In the desert, in the garden, amidst miracles, and on the cross. Tears of blood when He prayed to His Father …and of confidence in the desert has He quoted Scripture to affirm His grounds against Satan. To ask for forgiveness on behalf of those who beat Him unjustly as He hung on the cross. Jesus lived out prayer as a personal conversation between a Father and Son. With Praise, Thanks, Forgiveness, and Blessing.

This, then, is how you should pray:

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Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Praying,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The School Lunch (#jammed daily devo, day 127)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 127: Visit often.

“Take a moment to think about who you are with and what you are doing.” Proverbs 23:1 (VOICE)

Her face lit up and her legs broke out of line. Down the hallway she flew and into my arms. image-127On the days that my over-tasked tendencies give way to down time, I sometimes surprise my daughters by joining them for lunch at school. Squeezed into a small table full of little people, those are fleeting moments I will cherish forever. Especially, when they are embarrassed of me in their teenage years.

Today’s verse reminds us to be careful of the company we keep and be aware of our weaknesses and tendencies. The world doesn’t stop watching us when the lighting is bad. It’s important to step into situations where the love we receive from Him can reach others, but not so far as to fall back into easy temptations and old patterns.

My prayer is for my daughters to see me as I am as they grow up …an imperfect mess, who was rescued by Jesus. I want them to feel like they’ve always been sitting next to the same person squeezed into that elementary lunch table. Transparent and real. But, how do we know what to tell our kids and when?

To further understand today’s Scripture, let’s look at the whole verse section that it’s pulled out of:

When sitting down to eat with a ruler,
    take a moment to think about who you are with and what you are doing.
 If you are the type who eats too much too fast,
    do whatever is necessary to curb your enthusiasm for food.
 Also, do not eye the ruler’s delicacies,
    for the food may not be what it seems.” Proverbs 23:1-3 (VOICE)

 It’s situational. We will know our children well, and be able to weave the experience of our own pitfalls into their guidance through discipline …and possibly pealing back our own layers in conversation as time marches on. It will be important to prayerfully consider which parts of our hearts to reveal. He will use all of our struggles to help others if we are in tune to His voice. But, if we are oversharing in order to exalt our achievements or wield control, we will stumble and fall.

 Considering when to expose our kids to what they don’t know about their parents is a delicate process, to be revealed over time in God’s time. The best way to start is through prayerful conversation, and time in the Word each day. Take time …and give Him time.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for guiding us through each day so personally. Thank You for creating us each with a unique collection of experiences and characteristics. Forgive us for trying to impress others with our accomplishments and knowledge, and bless us with open minds and compassionate, honest heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Lunch dates,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Hand-Held (#recall 12 series, May)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where together we are memorizing a little bit more of God’s Word each month! This month’s verse is:

“He is always listening.” Psalm 34:15 (VOICE)

“OK,” I repeated, “I got it.”

I cut through the soft, glass cove at sunset to the tune of gulls cackling and the Evinrude faithfully buzzing along. Fresh-water beaded up on my  sun-screened skin, as the pages of whatever book I’d been lost in all day flipped through my mind. I whirred to a peaceful stop to watch the orange setting sun.

“What’s your 20?” the hand-held cracked into my serenity. As much as I wanted to toss it to the gulls, I answered, “over here …look to your starboard,” and waved my arms at my dad as high as my constrictive ‘life-saving’ device would allow me to reach. I ached for freedom from the noise. march-recall-tweet-1

It’s hard to find a quiet place to think before you’re old enough to claim some independent space. I knew little then about how loud life would be now. God is funny, that way.

He is present in every memory, and every future step forward. He’s known us the longest, and knows us best. Who better to talk to about life, than to the One who is always listening?

Laugh with God.

For the Eternal watches over the righteous,
    and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening.” Psalm 35:15 (VOICE)

Despite the annoyance of teenage monitoring, it was fun to say “10-4,” “over and out,” and “Lieutenant Dan” on that little hand-held radio. We heard a lot of laughs and inside jokes on Channel 74 before cell phones took over.

may-recall-image-1Hearing carries a couple of themes throughout the Bible, but concerning this verse it means: “God hears the prayers of His people.” (Dictionary of Bible Themes, #5159) 

When I realized that I could just talk to my Father without the formality of the memorized prayers of my Catholic upbringing, it was akin to hearing His voice crackle through the hand-held radio saying “10-4.” Laughter! God truly knows how to comfort us, carry us, console us, and crack us up. Lean into Him prayerfully with the personality He knit.

Feel for peace.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous [those with moral courage and spiritual integrity]
And His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15 (AMP)

Growing up on the water, the hand-held granted a sense of peace, even though there was distance between the boat and the shore. It was easy to call for help, and a feeling of never really being alone even when out of sight.

This verse goes so much deeper than God hearing what we are saying or praying. He is alert to what is happening in our world. He’s not a distant Father that checks in from time to time, He’s a hands-on Dad …ready to whack our hand away from the hot stove or put a pause on a situation we’re ready to rush through.may-recall-image-2

When we grab for Jesus’ hand, His peace trumps our solution. If we can quiet our hearts and search for Him, the peace we feel will direct our steps. God’s movement doesn’t always look the way we’d like to recognize it, but He longs to take our hand, give it a squeeze, and whisper, “this way.”

Audible thoughts.

God keeps an eye on his friends,
his ears pick up every moan and groan.” Psalm 34:15 (MSG)

We don’t need a hand-held to call God for help, share a joke with Him, or just experience the comfort of knowing He’s there if we need Him. We need Jesus.

Words fail us, but He never does. We launch into tantrums and lose our tempers …ugly cry and vent in despair. Life is desperate at times, but the measures we take are no match for His power.

In a heap, in the corner, sobbing ourselves to sleep …He is there. Talking to ourselves in the mirror, or staring into a hopeless space …He is there. When we think we’ve blown it …lost it …or can’t move …He is there.

march-recall-tweet-2God wouldn’t have created boundless ways to communicate if there was one required way to speak to Him. His ear is universally omnipotent. Even Jesus ran out of words in the garden, praying with such agonous sadness He cried tears of blood.

He is in our indescribable moments, aware and alert to our heart, and compassionate to listen as we tumble through motions. Panic, fumble, stare, cry …there’s no wrong way to reach for the Father. Through Jesus’ death on the cross and our acceptance and belief in Him, we have full access to the One who sees us …knows us …created us …and loves us …unconditionally.

Happy Talking,

Megs

Click here or on the image below for free memory verse cards!

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Mondays…Mommy Moments Modest MondayOpen Mic MondaySoul SurvivalHomemaking MondaysGood Morning MondaysMake Your Home SingInspire Me Monday Motivation Monday Motivational MondayOver the Moon, Thank Goodness it’s Monday Inspire Me Monday

Tuesdays…#RaRaLinkUpTestimony Tuesday , Tuesday Talk God Sized DreamsTell Me a True Story, Together on Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire Party, Let’s be Friends Blog Hop, Totally Terrific Tuesday,  Turn in Up Tuesday,   Twinkly Tuesday,

Wednesdays…#TellHisStory, OhMyHeartsieGirlsCoffee for Your HeartFrom Messes to MessagesWordless WednesdayAmanda’s Books and More LinkyCoffee and Conversation,Wow Me Wednesday,Wine’d Down Wednesday,

Thursdays…Thought Provoking ThursdayLive Free ThursdaySincerely, PaulaHeart Encouragement Think Tank Thursday, 

Fridays…Faith Filled FridayDance with Jesus, Friendship Friday, High Five for Friday, 

Saturdays… Saturday Sparks, Dare to Share, Our Mini Linky PartySaturday Sharefest

The Flash Drive (#recall12 series)

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The Holy Spirit ignites within the moment we believe in Christ, opening our eyes and ears to interpret God’s living Word. Prayer is like a flash drive containing the situational solutions to all of our problems. It’s useful to save a few key life verses on it, which is recall-12-feb-verseexactly what we’re doing here in the #recall12 series. In our struggle to find a way, God leads us to pray.

“Always pray and never give up.” Luke 18:1 (NLT)

1. Persistance 

“He told them a parable, urging them to keep praying and never grow discouraged.” Luke 18:1 (VOICE)

This month’s memory verse is a prelude to ‘The Parable of the Persistant Widow.’ Through the story of a woman seeking a judge’s verdict, Jesus taught the his followers the value in persistent and perseverant prayer.

Though our gut’s reaction is to freakishly scramble for hurried solutions, God’s presence beckons to employ a prayerful flow of continued conversation.recall12-feb-2

2. Consistence

“He paid no attention to her request for a while, but then he said to himself,“I don’t care about what God thinks of me, much less what any mere human thinks.  But this widow is driving me crazy. She’s never going to quit coming to see me unless I hear her case and provide her legal protection.'” Luke 18:4-5

If this judge “didn’t care,” he wound’t have felt it necessary to broach the topic of this widow’s plight. The prodding of his heart was not his own conscience shifting, but someone else’s prayers being upheld.

God hears us. More importantly, He tells us to keep talking. Keep praying. When frustration emerges, let’s determine to pray into it, wait for God to lead us out of it …and have faith that He will.

3. Silence 

Did you catch what this self-assured judge said? If he can be moved to act justly, won’t God bring justice for His chosen people when they cry to Him day and night? Will He be slow to bring them justice?” Mark 8:6-7

God’s determination to help His people has little to do with our resolve to act rightly. He seeks to help those who seek Him, whether or not we are privy to His reality. God is not dependent upon any human behavior to justify His response. Jesus’ death on the cross gave His believers the opportunity to cry out to the Father in prayer, and trust that He hears and answers.recall12-feb-3

Gossip hurts. Isolation stings. Injury is painful. Sickness is defeating. Loss is agonizing. God’s voice can seem deafeningly quiet to us when our situation is bleak and our hearts are broken. Though we may not see and here God the way we seek to, the promise of His presence is always present. In a conversation so personal we couldn’t describe it if we wanted to, He leads us through every season in the silent wanderings of our prayers.

4. Omnipotence

(Jesus emphasizes that the kingdom of God will not come through valiant efforts but as people pray, “may Your kingdom come,” with persistence and with humility.)” Luke 18:8 (VOICE)

Trust that God controls what we do not: healing, death, conception, time, creation and purpose. Ending our prayers “In Jesus Name,” declares our faith in His will over our prayer requests and our lives. We must be careful to pour our hearts out in prayer to Him and then let go. Grasping for control only causes us to sink further into our plight. But when we let go of the answer we want to hear and listen for the one He is laying out before us, miracles become visible. Coincidence connects answered prayer.

recall12-feb-2The conversations we have with the Father bleed out onto and into life.  He’s privy to our seat in the auditorium. Pop in the flash drive, transfer the data over to Him, and download His answer. It’s what Jesus died for …relationship with God.

Father, Praise You for Your listening ear and compassion for us. You tell us to pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1) You are powerful to trump any form of justice set upon this earth with Your omnipotent hand. God, You ARE love. You ARE grace. 

Praise for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, allowing us to pour our hearts into Your healing hands. In conversation with You, keep our eyes open and our ears attentive to Your will for our lives over our prayer requests. Surround us with Your purpose for our lives, and compassionate love when life is impossible.

Forgive us for our lack of stamina, and remind us of Jesus death on the cross. Bless Your Spirit to our hearts and minds to remember this verse today, and always. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Happy Downloading,

Megs

Click here or the image below for FREE verse memory cards!feb-recall-12

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Find your favorite place to hang out, and make some new friends! Link-up with us!!

Happy Link-ing!!!  Megs

Mondays…Mommy Moments Modest MondayOpen Mic MondaySoul SurvivalHomemaking MondaysGood Morning MondaysMake Your Home SingInspire Me Monday Motivation Monday Motivational MondayOver the Moon, Thank Goodness it’s Monday Inspire Me Monday

Tuesdays…#RaRaLinkUpTestimony Tuesday , Tuesday Talk God Sized DreamsTell Me a True Story, Together on Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire Party, Let’s be Friends Blog Hop, Totally Terrific Tuesday,  Turn in Up Tuesday,   Twinkly Tuesday,

Wednesdays…#TellHisStory, OhMyHeartsieGirlsCoffee for Your HeartFrom Messes to MessagesWordless WednesdayAmanda’s Books and More LinkyCoffee and Conversation,Wow Me Wednesday,Wine’d Down Wednesday,

Thursdays…Thought Provoking ThursdayLive Free ThursdaySincerely, PaulaHeart Encouragement Think Tank Thursday, 

Fridays…Faith Filled FridayDance with Jesus, Friendship Friday, High Five for Friday, 

Saturdays… Saturday Sparks, Dare to Share, Our Mini Linky PartySaturday Sharefest